SHAMROCK COOKIES/ Visiting Ireland



After so many years of researching my family history, last Spring I finally visited my ancestral homeland. My husband and I drove two weeks through the land of leprechauns and fairies starting in the city of Dublin, driving south to Kilkenny, Waterford and Cork, west to Dingle and north to Killarney, Limerick and Galway.

We began our trip in Dublin hitting the famous Guinness Brewery and retraced the steps of my paternal grandparents, who were born and raised in Dublin. Most of the houses are long gone but there was definitely a cool vibe to go back in time. It was a mix of feelings visiting the paupers’ graves of my Irish ancestors yet amazing to enter St. Kevin’s, the family church where my grandfather was baptized in 1886. From Dublin, we drove to Kilkenny to tour a luxurious castle, then to Waterford to witness craftmen create magnificent cut crystal. En route to County Cork, the home of my maternal ancestors, we stopped in Kinsale, a quaint seaside town. At Cohb Harbor in Cork, (called Queenstown in 1912), the last port of call for the Titanic, we stood where the passengers embarked on that fateful voyage. [As a side note: undeterred by the tragic sinking, my paternal grandfather set sail for America a mere three weeks later.] Then off to Kenmare for an afternoon, a charming harbor town before arriving in Killarney, with plenty of pubs and restaurants. Located at the tip of the Ring of Kerry, it is a jumping off point for day tours to the Cliffs of Moher, The Burren and The Wild Atlantic Way in County Clare. We drove through scenic Moll’s Gap before heading to the breathtaking Dingle Penninsula on the western coast of Ireland. Looking across the vast sea, the next land mass was the United States. We drove to Limerick, overlooking the River Shannon before our final destination in Galway, a bustling town where street performers dance the Irish jig. It would have taken an additional two to three more weeks to tour the remaining counties in Ireland and Northern Ireland. So, it is common for tourists to make several trips to the Emerald Isle.

Passengers boarded the Titanic at white terminal building; Queenstown Harbor, Cork
Dingle Peninsula
The Wild Atlantic Way, along the North Atlantic Ocean
Irish castle on the River Shannon, Limerick
[We spent several weeks planning and researching tourist sites, Irish towns, hotels, etc. Anyone planning an Irish vacation, who may find our 14-day, driving itinerary a good starting point for your own trip, send me a message in the right margin.]


These cookies are apropos for our March holiday and stir emerald memories in this Irish lass.

[This stencil was a complimentary gift when I ordered stencils from The Cookie Countess]
Shamrock Cookies
Plaque Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Green with AmeriColor Electric Green and AmeriColor Leaf Green
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
PME Decorating Tip #1.5
Shamrock Stencil
Toothpicks or Scribe Tool
CK White Sanding Sugar

Outline cookie with #2 tip in white icing. Flood cookie with white icing.

Pipe stripes around edge of cookie with #1.5 tip in green flood icing.
Using scribe tool, drag through icing to create marbling design. Let dry overnight.

Place shamrock stencil on cookie. Etch inside of stencil with scribe tool.

Outline and flood shamrock with #1.5 tip in green flood icing.

Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Let dry 30 minutes.

Pipe outline with #1.5 tip in green icing.

Let dry overnight.

 

 


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WINTER COOKIES/ Polar Vortex 2



I wrote about the Polar Vortex and Arctic Blast in previous winter posts. Well, it was baaaccck ... and thankfully lasted only one week. With half of the country still caught in the deep freeze and snowed in, it’s the perfect time to get cozy indoors. Light a fire, munch on your favorite snacks (don’t count the calories), snuggle under a blanket and binge watch your favorite TV show or catch up on your movie watching before this weekend's Oscars.

These cookies were decorated using stencils and airbrushing. For texture royal icing was applied with a paintbrush.
(Every step in the process was not photographed; see example airbrushing tutorial here)


Winter Cookies
Plaque Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Air Brush Kit or Wilton Color Mist
AmeriColor Airbrush Sheen Colors (Silver, Pearl, Sky Blue)
AmeriColor Airbrush Colors (Avocado)
Winter Scene Stencil
Falling Snow Stencil
Paintbrush

Outline and flood cookie with #2 tip in white icing. Let dry overnight.

Cover bottom of cookie and spray top of cookie with silver and pearl sheen airbrush color. Let dry 30 minutes.
(White specks on cookie from remnants of water in airbrush gun)

Place snowflake stencil on cookie. Spray with blue sheen airbrush color. Gently lift stencil. Let dry 15 minutes.
Place winter stencil on the cookie. Spray trees with avocado airbrush color. Gently lift stencil. Let dry 15 minutes.

With paintbrush, apply white flood icing to bottom of cookie. Let dry overnight.




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KATE SPADE HEART COOKIES/ Brothers



Siblings. They know us our entire lives. They are constant … there from the beginning and there after our parents. They are there at life events, big and small; cheer our accomplishments; lend shoulders to lean on and share our childhood memories. My parents often said ‘Friends come and go but family will always be there.’

As the only girl with three brothers I would not have it any other way. I love having brothers and never missed having a sister as brothers are awesome. My brothers taught me what’s cool and what’s not; to laugh only at funny things, no giggling allowed; not take the nuns too seriously; ignore gossip and be real. They never teased me for crying at movies and never put me down. Their influence, guidance, love, kindness, support and friendship are a big part of who I am today.

My eldest brother, B drove me to my weekly ballet lessons in elementary school. In college, he sent money and a brotherly letter before spring break. He taught me how to navigate the city, search for employment and provided interview tips for my first real job after college. He was always an ear to listen and provide positive encouragement.

My older brother, R, luckily was four grades ahead of me in school to avoid comparison by the nuns. Phew! He always had time to play with us younger kids, let me tag along with his friends and showed me how to throw and catch a baseball. He always looked out for us and stood up for us when we were too young to stand up for ourselves. He patiently taught me to drive and took me to tour colleges. He is a natural leader and always willing to lend a hand and advice. It’s probably because of his influence that none of us made any huge mistakes in life.

My younger brother, J was my childhood playmate and we were together almost constantly. With only two years between us, my childhood would have been lonely without him. We often occupied ourselves badgering each other while playing board games and building forts. Little did we know, a strong sibling bond between us was forming which is still going strong today. I’ve always been protective of my little bro but he doesn’t need it. He’s got a keen insight and is always the word of reason and foresight.

My brothers … my best friends, kind and loving, true gentlemen who always have my back. They will always be special to me. I’m blessed.
* * * * *
Kate Spade striped designs are usually done in black stripes and hot pink accents. It is a challenge to get clean lines stenciling with black airbrush color. So, I decided to use a bronze color for the stripes and muted pink for the flowers.


Kate Spade Heart Cookies
Heart Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for detail tinted Soft Pink with AmeriColor Violet and AmeriColor Deep Pink
Royal Icing for detail tinted Green with AmeriColor Avocado Green
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Wilton Star Tip #18
Wilton Leaf Tip #352
Air Brush Kit or Wilton Color Mist
AmeriColor Airbrush Sheen Color (Copper)
Narrow Stripes Stencil

Outline and flood cookie with #2 tip in white icing. Let dry overnight.

Place stencil on cookie. Spray with copper airbrush color. Gently lift stencil.
Let dry 30 minutes.

Pipe flowers with #18 star tip in pink icing. Pipe leaves with #352 leaf tip in green icing. 
Let dry overnight.




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